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How to Install Marine Electric Winch

10/16/2013 8:15:35 AM | by Anonymous

Marine Winches

A winch is a mechanical device that is used to wind out, wind in or otherwise adjust the “tension” of a wire cable or rope. In the simplest form, they consist of a spool that is attached to the hand crank. In some larger forms, winches can stand at the heart of the machines as diverse as steam shovels, tow trucks and elevators. The spool is also known as the winch drum and some more elaborate designs have gear assemblies and can powered by pneumatic, electric, internal combustion drives or hydraulic. They may also include a mechanical brake, solenoid brake or ratchet and pawl device that can prevent it from unwinding unless the pawl is retracted.


When winter turns to spring, the boat owners want to get out on the river or lake and are tired of pulling on an anchor that is entangled with junk on the river or lake at the bottom and their thoughts turn to an electric marine winch.


Usually, marine winches are used on a number of different types of ships such as on sailing boats. They can be used to wind in or out the boat’s sails and these types of winches are hand operated. However, for the larger ships the electric winches can be used to pull up anchors, lift heavy items and cargo as well as move masts directly up onto a ship’s deck.


Instructions on how to install marine electric winches:

  1. Set the marine winch in a place where you plan to attach it to the deck. Use the base of the marine winch as the template for holes and use a marker to push through the holes and mark the deck where you will drill the mounting bolts.

  2. Do ensure that the space below the planned location for the marine winch is an empty space or a space that doesn’t contain anything like a fuel tank and the mount holes should not penetrate the ship system. Drill one hole, the size of the mounting bolts in the deck for every mounting bolt. In addition, drill a hole for the power cord too. Use the bolts, nuts and washers that come with the marine winch and bolt the winch to the deck.

  3. Push the winch’s power cord down through the hole in the deck and go below the decks, to the place where the power cord penetrates the deck from above. Connect the red wire of the power cord to the boat’s power buss and then connect the black ground wire to your boat’s ground.

  4. Apply the caulk around the heads of the mounting bolts as well as into the hole where the power lead will penetrates the deck with a caulk gun. The caulking should close the hole completely. This is to prevent water from entering the boat through these openings.


When installing the electric marine winches, have an in-line fuse on the red power lead. This is to prevent fires and to isolate the winch if there is a short circuit. The hole you have drilled in your deck to run the power to the power buss will have to be large enough to accommodate the diameter of this fuse. This project also involves working with power tools with appropriate caution and the use of safety glasses is recommended.

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